Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Walking Dead 7x11 Review: "Hostiles and Calamities" (The One Where a Secondary Character is Awarded with a Whole Episode) [Guest Poster: Nora Williamson]

"Hostiles and Calamities" 
Original Airdate: February 26, 2017 

The Walking Dead has been gaining momentum and heading toward an inevitable battle between our group and the Saviors. The past two episodes have been satisfying and strangely comedic. They have also offered amazing action sequences and have given us a respite from Negan and his hollow monologues.

After a successful two-episode run, The Walking Dead gives us “Hostiles and Calamities.” We are once again shown the inner-workings of the Sanctuary and forced to see Negan kill another person in a savage way.


In this episode, we don’t see anyone from our group except for Eugene. It’s one of those famous episodes that takes place at the same time as another episode we’ve seen. “Hostiles and Calamities” picks up right after Eugene is taken from Alexandria, after Spencer is killed and it’s revealed that Eugene had made a bullet for Rosita. Daryl has also just escaped from the Sanctuary.

The episode isn’t bad, but I’m not sure what we’re supposed to get out of it or how it moves the story further forward. I like Eugene because he’s socially awkward and usually has some funny lines. But do we need a whole episode dedicated to his induction to the Sanctuary?

There are a few moments of surprise in this episode and definitely a few giggles. Eugene is whimpering and shaking as he is escorted to what I imagine he thinks is a dungeon. Instead, he’s taken to a room with a fridge, comfy bed, and old school video games. We have seen what poor Daryl went through, so I guess this is what Negan means when he says he’s being “the good cop.”

I actually love it when Eugene is left alone in his room and he plays a song on the record player. It’s “Easy Street,” which he bops his head to. When we first heard that song, it was used as a torture device for Daryl, so it’s fun to see it being used in a completely different way. It still terrified me.

We get another run down as to how the Sanctuary works (people get points, people work, blah, blah, blah) and then Eugene has another meeting with Negan. Here, Eugene reverts back into liar mode and tells Negan that he worked on the Human Genome Project before the collapse happened. He also tells Negan how he can fix his fence problem with the walkers.

Negan is impressed with Eugene, although I’m not sure if he is just mostly taken by how scared Eugene is of him. He thinks that Rick was wasting Eugene’s talent, which maybe he was. Negan decides to treat Eugene right and tells him he can have a night with his wives — no sleeping with them, though. When Negan’s wives enter the episode, things get interesting. I couldn’t tell if they were trying to set Eugene up or if they were genuine. By the end of the episode, we know that they are trying to kill Negan. I like them and I hope that we see them later on. Not all of the people at the Sanctuary are bad and there must be more willing to turn on Negan, right?

Towards the end of the episode, Negan starts to ask Eugene his name but, unlike Daryl, Eugene blurts out that he is Negan. Is he just playing along? We know that Eugene is a coward, but he’s also a survivor and he stayed alive for so long because he aligns with people who will help him. Back at Alexandria, Eugene wasn’t highly regarded, but at the Sanctuary, he’s got a nice little set up. Plus, Negan finds him valuable. So, does he think that he has a better chance at the Sanctuary? As this episode happened in the past from where we are now on The Walking Dead, Eugene must figure that he has a better deal with Negan than the Alexandrians have.

We also see a B-plot with Dwight, which isn’t that compelling. So, it was Sherry, Dwight’s ex-wife and Negan’s current wife, who freed Daryl. I don’t know what we’re supposed to think about Dwight. He pretty much got the chatty doctor killed and he is at least acting like he is firmly on Team Negan, so why do we care about him? I thought that he was going to be the weak link at the Sanctuary, but I’m not sure.

Overall, there are some good moments in “Hostiles and Calamities,” but I’m disappointed that we spent another episode at the Sanctuary. I hope that we see more cracks in the Sanctuary’s core and that Eugene has something up his sleeve. But he probably doesn’t and this episode will turn out to be useless.

Final Thoughts:
  • Surely, we’re going to see Sherry again, right?
  • I don’t think I’ll ever see a pickle again and not think about Eugene.
  • I’m so glad Negan cooled it on the monologues.
  • There aren’t any “wow” moments in this episode, but the walker at the gate who lost its stomach was pretty gross.


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